Canadian church celebrates Easter by hiring helicopter to drop 45,000 chocolate eggs

A Christian charity in Canada hired a helicopter this Easter which dropped 45,000 chocolate eggs to children waiting below.

#WeheartOttawa is the outreach arm of the Kingdom Culture church in Ottawa which puts on free events in the city.

Ashley Fraser Photography/WeheartOttowa

Shawn Gabie and his wife Michelle, who are pastors at the church, booked the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum and rented a helicopter for a free family event on Saturday.

'In 10 days, just through social media, we had 5,500 people register online,' Shawn Gabie said.

'We had to shut down registration. We didn't expect that to happen. We thought we would have a couple thousand people show up, registering up until the last week. Everybody who comes will get an invite to our Easter service, which is the next day. Easter is a time where people who never come to church will come.'

More than 5,000 people attended the event.

Because We Heart Ottawa does not advertise that it is a church brand, they managed to recruit 15 different sponsors, according to the Christian website Spur Ottawa.

'I feel like this will shift paradigms of what church looks like and what other churches feel like they are capable of," said Matt Campbell, one of the organisers before the event. 'We will push the envelope of going big, going outside the idea of having a barbecue on the church grounds.'

The event did not have any overt 'gospel presentation', according to Spur Ottawa, and there was no mention of church on the event's website.

But Campbell said: 'Easter is a time where people who never come to church will come. If we can create life and expectation, it may inspire people to think about what they can do for their city. What can I do for the 2000 homeless people living in my city? What can I do to change the life of my boss?'

Every family attending received a welcome bag with coupons from the sponsors, the biggest of which was Kingdom Culture, and an invitation to go to church on Easter Day.